Couple rescued after treading water for 14 hours off Florida coast

MIAMI Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:07pm EDT

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MIAMI (Reuters) - A group of off-duty sheriff's officers on a morning fishing trip near Fort Lauderdale, Florida rescued a couple who had been treading water all night after falling off their boat near Key Largo and drifting nearly 70 miles.

"We were all stunned, we all looked at each other and asked are we seeing what we think we're seeing," Keith Salvis, of the Broward Sheriff Office's fire rescue department told a local NBC affiliate.

The couple, Sean McGovern, 50, and Mellisa Morris, 52, were in the water for 14 hours without life jackets or signaling devices.

When they were found on Saturday morning, they told their rescuers they had fallen off the back of their 30-foot boat the previous evening.

The fishing party contacted the U.S. Coast Guard.

McGovern and Morris were taken ashore, treated for mild hypothermia and jellyfish stings, and picked up by friends, U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Mark Barney said.

"As empty as the ocean was today, with only another two or three boats, they might have been out there for another two or three days and who knows what fate might have held," Salvis told the television station.

(Reporting by Zachary Fagenson in Miami; Editing by David Bailey)

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Comments (3)
nocroman wrote:
How in the H do you fall off the back of a boat? Was the boat moving? Where’s the boat now?
I am willing to bet they were DRUNK and not high. Because if they were high they would be inside the cabin of the boat sleeping of doing the nasty or just listening to music and veging out.

Just shows again how marijuana is safer for recreational use than alcohol is.

Stick that where the sun don’t shine you morons in Washington!!!!!

Jun 22, 2014 1:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Ralphooo wrote:
Wait, they BOTH fell off “the back” of their own boat? There has to be more to this. And they both tread water for 14 hours? How many random people could actually do that? I think something else happened and the sheriff guys just bought their story, what should I say, hook line and unsinkable people?

Jun 22, 2014 3:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JamVee wrote:
Something . . . , no, make that A WHOLE LOT, about this story makes ZERO sense. How do two people fall off the back of the same boat at the same time???

Jun 22, 2014 8:01pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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